Would you think any less of me if I said to you, I had not seen one single episode of GAME OF THRONES, (stunned silence)? Yes, it is true I admit it I have never sat through and entire episode of GAME OF THRONES (Right there you go I said it) What, why? I hear you all screaming, well because I haven’t that’s all. I have seen bits and pieces here there and everywhere, I think I did see a near complete episode on a rainy day in Spain, And that my friends is about it, the rest of my G.O.T. viewing experience has as I say been limited to snippets and trailers. But it has not stopped me appreciating and loving the scores that have been written for it. The many themes for various characters (who I have not a clue are). But not knowing the series has not stopped me from loving the superb music that was created to support its many episodes. Is it possible to appreciate music or to be more precise appreciate film music without actually seeing the movie or the TV series? Umm YES it is, I did see GAME OF THRONES the theme performed in concert once, I hope that makes up for not seeing the series, but as a soundtrack collector and I suppose a reviewer I could not possibly see every movie who’s scores I review so I look at them from a different angle, listen to them and if I have not seen the movie I appreciate and evaluate them as just music, which works for me and hopefully has also worked for people who read my work. The hype for the final season of G.O.T. was incredible and I must admit I felt as if I had seen the series just because of the hype created by the TV channels that aired it. And when the final episode hit the screens a few days ago it made national headlines in the UK which I think is probably a good thing seeing how dull and miserable the actual news is nowadays. So the composer is always a good place to start and in this case yes I had heard of Ramin Djawadi before he became a household name via G.O.T. IRON MAN, for example and also BLADE-TRINITY, which he worked on and there are a number of scores that I can mention that are of great interest and quality that he worked whilst scoring GAME OF THRONES for example WESTWORLD the TV series and the wonderfully atmospheric FRIGHT NIGHT reboot as well as RED DAWN, CLASH OF THE TITANS etc all of which have been overshadowed by his connection with G.O.T. He also composed the scores for movies such as DRACULA UNTOLD, WAR CRAFT, PACIFIC RIM and more recently THE GREAT WALL, SLENDER MAN and eight episodes of the TV series of Tom Clancy’s JACK RYAN.
So an in demand composer he certainly is, Djawadi also took GAME OF THRONES on the road as it were and was responsible for staging live concerts of the monumental music to the delight of audiences. Ramin Djawadi was born in Germany his Mother being German and his Father Iranian. He studied and graduated from Berklee College of Music and served as an apprentice with Hans Zimmer’s Remote-Control Productions where he began to learn the basics of writing music for film and becoming an assistant for composer Klaus Badelt.
He worked alongside Zimmer and Badlet performing arrangements and carrying out orchestrations and providing projects with additional music when it was required. His career as a composer in his own right began when he was asked to score the television series PRISON BREAK, Since, then he has worked on motion pictures, TV series and video game scores. So when you think of it G.O.T. is just the tip of his musical iceberg as it were, but we do find this in film music a composer may be working away on shorts and low budget affairs and then he gets a movie or TV series that is a mega hit and suddenly he is the composer of that and that only, but we know as film music collectors this is not the case ,is it? So back to, what was it called again? GAME OF THRONES that’s it. As I said the music, I think is superb and the latest compilation release of music from season 8, is no exception, of course it opens with the now familiar rolling and powerfully melodic theme which for me is always far to short. As this is the last season the release contains so much music, 32 cues of driving, dark, romantic and highly compelling music.
The epic and commanding sound that is G.O.T. is made up of driving strings, booming and crashing percussion, brass flourishes, wistful woodwinds and some mesmerizingly haunting and rich themeatic material. But you know that already? I do not think that music from a TV series has actualy been as powerful as what we have heard within G.O.T. and I am certain this is not the last we shall see of certain characters as the series producers have already hinted there will be spin offs, also I do think that this is not the last G.O.T. compilation we will see, as I am sure there are numerous tracks that have not been included along the way, so maybe GAME OF THRONES the outtake music album. Who knows (HBO do). So the album for season 8, is possibly the best collection of music from all of the seasons, this is a collection of great music that one can listen to from start to finish and not be tempted to skip a track here and there, because each track is brilliant and leaves you wanting more and anticipating what is next. It contains a fully instrumental version of JENNY OF OLDSTONES which is performed on cello, and the cue BATTLE FOR THE SKIES is action, drama and power personified, via the composers use of growling brass swirling strings and crashing percussive elements all of which combine to create a grandiose and fearsome sounding piece that all action driven still maintains a level of thematic content throughout. Of course, synthetic sounds are present but Djawadi fuses these seamlessly with symphonic colours and textures to fashion an ominously luscious and darkly sublime sound, never easing off the tension and at times creating surging and romantic interludes.
Like the series the music has to it a cliff-hanger and tense persona for the majority of the albums running time, but for me it is the composers use of instruments such as cello, solo violin and voices and the brass and string sections that gives this heart, and a deep emotional content. The familiar rolling and lumbering G.O.T. theme being ushered in on occasion in varying arrangements, and at times being almost unfamiliar because of the composer’s masterful re-workings. One to buy, yes, it is…